Sunday, June 23, 2013



A NIGHT TO DISMEMBER (1983), review by Mike Hunchback

America's 1960s maverick mistress of Exploitation Doris Wishman continued making films all throughout her life.  She filmed nearly all of A NIGHT TO DISMEMBER in 1979 with Samantha Fox starring, and allegedly before it was finished the film was destroyed by an employee at the going-out-of-business lab where the film was being processed.  Over three years later, the nearly 100% re-shot version that we know today was released.  The result is an awesome hodge-podge of gore, ineptitude, and narration - LOTS of narration.  If you're familiar with Wishman's '60s output you know her penchant of filming silently (often avoiding the face of whoever's speaking), overdubbing EVERYTHING in post-production.  She was insistent that this practice was essential to the artistic integrity of her work.  No, just kidding, it was because it was much cheaper and easier to overdub ALL dialogue.  Not that it works for even one moment mind you - but it was definitely cheaper and easier.

A NIGHT TO DISMEMBER resides comfortably in my own personal "SHIT-HORROR-MIND-FUCK" category, reserved exclusively for these bizarre no-budget gems wherein the chaotic mess of elements that makes up the film is so confusing and/or unfinished that almost everything that happens is fascinating because you have no clue why the hell it's happening.  The opening exposition of A NIGHT TO DISMEMBER feels like it goes on for maybe 40 minutes, madly switching time-periods and characters while constant narration over-explains it into total freaking nonsense.  The brain-numbing spectacle of super-boring walking around and the back of the head of whoever's talking  frequently alternates to the best non-effects gore this side of Andy Milligan.  Completely confounding displays of blood splatter and hacked-at rubber limbs lovingly crash into flesh getting ripped or stabbed, the red stuff pouring out in gobs for Gorehounds everywhere to praise.  As with the best of Wishman's work, A NIGHT TO DISMEMBER is one of those movies that makes the filmmaker's utter contempt for humanity obvious to its audience.  It's as if Doris thought that anyone watching A NIGHT TO DISMEMBER didn't deserve a good movie, so fuck 'em ... and I couldn't be happier for it.


Directed by: Doris Wishman
Written by: Judy J. Kushner
Staring: Samantha Fox, Diane Cummins, Saul Meth

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